Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Good as New

The Cottage

Our little garden cottage, recently vacated by our teenadult son.
Our little recycled rimu one room cottage in the garden has been vacated as our son headed off on a flatting adventure in Hamilton.  The interior was a little tired and in need of some uplifting TLC, so I looked in our garden shed for some paint.  A bit of this left-over, a splodge of that, mix it all up, sieve it to remove the ageing hard bits and voila!  A lightish red which would bring some sense of adventure and cosiness to the little cabin.  

Getting ready to revamp....
I tidied up the last of the 3-year fallout, dusted, sneezed, removed curtains, washed them and then tenuously laid the first random stroke.  The first brushstroke is always the hardest.  Just like the first line from the rock song, the first cut, I guess.  Half my married life, I have tried to create the perfect brush stroke - neat and even.  And I was always disappointed.  When you go for perfection, it is easy to be disappointed.  So about 10 years back, I decided to turn it around and went for a perfectly imperfect finish.  It's based on a loose flick of the wrist in a series of totally random strokes.  I have been totally satisfied ever since!!  Best yet, it uses such little paint, not gallons and gallons of the stuff.

The first brave strokes...
Took me all of nearly 3 days to complete my little renovation, curtain rehang, fixing shelving, oiling the woodwork (there is a lovely linseed smell to it), laying out the soft drapery to cover the garish green sleeper couch and voila...!  The end result is most pleasing, warm and inviting.  I painted a great big gaudy gold Eastern surround to one window to give an air of theatrical opulence.  I even finished a picture of an iconic Mother Mary figure which I started 3 years ago and never needed to finish.  Now there was a place for it, it needed to be finished!  An incentive.  I just love all religious iconography - Christian, Buddhist, Hare Krishna, you name it.
A cosy place to retreat to, to read a book or get away from it all.
This little cottage has been through some transformations.  We built it as a reflexology studio in the beginning and then when my teenage son became too noisy for the house we had to relocate him.  Before that, at one stage, we hosted a German language exchange student for 5 months and Mike and I slept there one very cold winter, for 5 months, so that she could stay in our house and feel part of the family!  Every night was an adventure, creeping out and seeing the clear starry night as we crossed the Great Divide to the cottage, our breath frosting before us, the sweet painful jumping under the covers and huddling together to keep warm!

We have used the cottage as 24hr retreats for all the family members.  My retreat was in winter, hearing the wind and rain lashing against the sides made me feel so safe inside, like being in the womb!  When Cam moved in, it meant he could come and go without his parents fussing and fretting.  It worked very well.  We could keep a very sustainable relationship!  Each with space to grow and not crowd or smother each other out.

On a personal note, some very good news is that I finally finished the Organic Horticulture Correspondence course!!  Hooray!  After a year's studies, I feel like a free woman!  I can take up reading over the long cold winter nights, in front of the fire!  I look forward to that.  Maybe I can even knit beanies again (that's a joke - it's all I can knit!).

The oiled woodwork and step ladder to alcove bed on mezzanine.

A covered tea and coffee making tray to complete the sense of self-reliance

The wash basin with Indian gods tiles (not the best in-focus pic!)

An old paper mache mirror I made previously, was given a
 lick of gold paint to match the window surround.

A touch of theatre

The cottage opens out onto the garden in great weather

The deck of the cottage is a sun trap in the afternoons
The Garden
In the garden, we have been harvesting zuchini rampicante, the odd spring onion or leek, lots of basil, salad ingredients, bird-seed sown Daikon radishes, feijoas and strawberries (still).  Every day, I change the water that our olives lie soaking in.  I have dehydrated some of the feijoas, we don't seem to have as much as last year but we have enough to eat, share and preserve.   What blessings of Abundance!
Shayni's butterfly hattery has been very successful, with 7 or the rescued chrysalises having hatched in the last week and a half.
Mike has been making beautiful fresh apple and carrot juice every morning, adding a bit of ginger, cucumber and celery to taste.  A wonderful start to the day.  No boxed juice even comes close to the alive taste!

Zuchini Rampicante
Fresh live enzymatic juice

Feijoas and strawberries

Bring Back The Monarchs 

The season of new Monarchs (photos supplied by Shayni)

Still unfurling her wings

The sheer magnificence of Nature's colourings
All too quickly the 2 week holiday is over, but we were blessed by the most glorious of Autumn sun-shiney days!  I feel like I accomplished so many things around the home and garden and feel well pleased with a balance of rest and activity.  It must be a similar feeling for the Monarchs undergoing their transformation.  I am ready for the new term.... bring on the children!  My cottage, my study-end and myself, well, ...... it all feels good as new!

No comments:

Post a Comment